"So, you want to be treated like everyone else?
We'll be late, rude, and do a lousy job for you too!"

Talk about truth in advertising! However, till this happens -- and please don't hold your breath -- here are some "industry secrets" you should know. These secrets will give you the knowledge to choose the best cleaning company for yourself.

Important questions you would ask had you spent the last twenty years in the cleaning industry:


1. Are they a franchise?
The Steam Team is an owner-operated partnership. We built it with our own hands and work hard to gain  your referrals and repeat business. The reason we rate highest in the entire Bay Area for outstanding customer care and satisfaction, is simple: we truly care about our clients and do an outstanding job for them. It’s has been proven to be good for business.

2. Who'll come to my home? Are they independent contractors?
While some companies do not even bother to check about their employees, we will not let anybody into your home who we will not let into our own homes. With the Steam Team only one of the owners will work for you. We are also bonded and fully insured so that you are absolutely protected. Some companies use independent contractors to save the cost of insurance, social security and workers compensation (enormous savings!) That means that you might be personally liable if anything happens. When we work for you, you will have complete peace of mind.

3. How well trained are the technicians? Are they IICRC certified?
Everyone at The Steam Team is an IICRC certified Master Carpet and Textile Cleaner- the highest cleaning certification in the world. We know of no other company that offers this. A Master Cleaner has invested hundreds of hours in classes and successfully passed the most rigorous tests in: carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, advanced stain removal, odor control, journeyman textile cleaner, carpet dying and repair. Our thorough training and years of experience assure that your valuable furnishings are in good hands and will be meticulously and safely cleaned.

4. Do they pay their employees a commission?
Commission-based cleaning employees have an incentive to either sell you lots of extras or rush through the job because this is how they make their money. We do not sell you anything extra. We also feel strongly that taking all the time necessary to do the best cleaning possible is the surest way to win your referrals and repeat business. We invest our time in you; and it's good for business.

5. One or two person cleaning crew?
It sounds like two are better then one. After all, can’t two people do more then just one? And yes--the first and last ten minutes of the cleaning go faster with two people. However, after the first ten minutes only one person actually works while the other chews gum. The unavoidable economic reality creates pressure to rush and cut corners. You do the math:
While only one person cleans, two are being paid.

We use one-person crews exclusively. This enables us to take all the time necessary to provide you with the best cleaning results possible.

6. Is steam the only cleaning method you use?
As a consumer you may have found it very difficult and confusing to understand which cleaning method is best. Not surprisingly every company claims that their specific method is better. So which one is the best—and who says so?

We at The Steam Team choose to offer our customers each and every major cleaning method. We do have opinions about which is better--ask us how we clean our own homes. However, we want you to have the freedom to choose the cleaning method most advantageous to you.

7. Everybody’s testimonials sound great. Can I talk with these people and not just two or three of them?
We’ll give you as many referrals as you wish to check, not just a few strategically chosen ones. Feel free to talk with each and every one of our customers; ask whatever you need to know; and decide for yourself.

8. Are they recommended by any organizations?
The Steam Team is the only company in the entire Bay Area to be awarded the highest customer satisfaction rating by all, not just one, of the following consumer organizations:

“Consumer Check book” - Consumer Check Book is a prestigious, subscriber only, consumer rating magazine. You can not buy a rating in this independent consumer publication; you have to be rated by their subscribers.
"Judy’s Book.”
“Consumer ValueStar.”
“San Francisco Good Service Guide”- 1991 till present
“San Mateo Good Service Guide” - 2001 till present
“IICRC”- Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
“CFI” - Carpet and Fabric Care Institute.
“Angie’s List.”

All of the above consumer organizations highly recommend The Steam Team for “Outstanding customer care and satisfaction.”

9. What does the price include?
Our cleaning includes: Spotting; grooming; high traffic area pre-spraying; moving furniture within reason; extra-deep, meticulously thorough hot water extraction; and extra dry passes for fast drying. We use safe non-toxic, mostly naturally derived, biodegradable cleaning products.

When we are done, your carpet will feel softer to the touch and be nearly dry and residue free. It will also last longer--and you will save money because you will not need to clean as frequently. There are no hidden charges.

10. Do they use chemicals?
There is no other issue more misunderstood. And no other claim is as commonly used to scare the consumer. No matter what they claim, everyone uses chemicals. (If they claim that they don’t use “chemicals,” do not give them the job on the grounds that lying to you is not a good way to start a business relationship!)

To illustrate, we as human beings are walking, talking and on a good day, singing chemicals. Water is a chemical. Water alone can not dissolve heavy or oily soils created by cooking, pets or air-born pollutants that settle even on the cleanest person’s carpet. Try washing dirty clothes without using a little detergent- it does not work. It will not work for your carpet either.

The real issue is not chemicals but how toxic these chemicals are. The Steam Team uses safe, non toxic, biodegradable, mostly naturally derived cleaning products. Starting in 1991, we led the field by offering our clients cleaning for people with scent and chemical sensitivities.

More Secrets